NOTE FROM MY VICKIE:
Before Bert gets started on this very long post, I want to just let all of you in on a little revelation I got today. I thought blogging was just a fun way to spend some time but I realized today and not for the first time, that the insights, and wisdom, and the heartfelt comments and posts that all of you put out there for me to read, have really impacted my life for the better, and I just wanted to thank you...and a special thanks for todays insight brought on by a new blog to our little world known as Raising Ruby and the post she made today on "Old Dogs"
OK BERT, take it from here.
My Vickie took Jamie to the park today. Just the two of them. I was a little jealous but I know that Jamie is getting old and that before I came along Jamie and My Vickie were partners in the world of search and rescue for 12 years. Jamie is My Vickies “Soul” dog….. Jamie is an original. The mold was broken after her.
Now she is old and her back legs are starting to give out on her and she has lost her hearing and eyesight, My Vickie worries about her every day.
She doesn't talk about it much so I thought I would tell you a little bit about Jamie.
As a search team, they were quite the pair. Jamie was requested all the time to come out on searches and do special things.
Just for instance.
There was a man who went missing from a camp site on a huge lake in Utah. Searchers and local search dog teams looked for him all one day. Later in that evening, My Vickie got a call from the sheriff asking if “Jamie” could come the next day and check the area out.
Jamie and My Vickie showed up at 8 am. They were supposed to go out in a boat and check out the areas the other dog teams had alerted on in the lake, but the boat driver wasn’t ready.
My Vickie asked the sheriff if anyone had checked the shore line and the boat dock for clues and if he minded if she and Jamie did it while they waited for the boat.
He told her she had 15 minutes so she could do what she wanted. She got the missing mans “Scent Article” a dirty sock, introduced it to Jamie and off they went.
First thing Jamie did was run out from the shore line and into the water until she was up to her neck. Then she just stood there staring off to the northwest about 30 yards north of the boat dock, mouth closed and nostrils flaring.
My Vickie made a mental note of this, then called her back and they continued to check out the shore line. After about five minutes, Jamie stuck her nose into the wind and headed to a pile of branches and washed up debris about 50 feet from the waters edge.
She started digging around in the stuff and then came running back to My Vickie with a wallet in her mouth.
Odd place to find a wallet My Vickie thought but because the news media was watching from the other side of the bay, she didn’t want to appear nosy so she took the wallet, put it in her pack and headed back to the sheriff.
When she got back, the boat driver was ready to go so she and Jamie headed down the boat dock with the sheriff. On the way there, the sheriff asked her what Jamie was doing when she ran into the water and My Vickie, who has complete confidence in both me and Jamie said,
“Well sheriff, what I understand from this is that Jamie thinks your victim is about 30 feet off the northwest end of that boat dock”
The sheriff quickly said that was not possible because the divers had already checked the area.
Continuing on along the boat dock, My Vickie remembered the wallet and pulled it out to give the sheriff. She handed it to him and said; “Jamie alerted on this wallet and found it up in the debris over there, and she pointed to the pile of logs.
“I didn’t check to see who it belonged to but I think it must have something to do with your victim because Jamie is “Scent Discriminate” trained and would only alert on articles that belong to the missing man.”
Then My Vickie and Jamie got in the boat and prepared to search the water. As the boat was taking off the sheriff came to the end of the dock and said…. “Vickie, this has a credit card in it that belongs to the missing man”
Interesting, My Vickie thought.
My Vickie and Jamie had been there 15 minutes by now. For the next 15 minutes they checked out the areas along the shore that the other dogs had alerted on but found no interest at all.
After that, the boat driver contacted the sheriff and asked him where he wanted them to go next.
The sheriff was consulting with his divers and said he would get back to them, so My Vickie asked the boat driver to take Jamie and her over across the lake to the boat dock area. He was a little disgruntled about the request but finally My Vickie persuaded him to go over.
As they get closer and closer to where the victim is their heads go down closer and closer to the water until finally all you see is a short little bob of their heads and its done……
If you know what you are watching for it is a beautiful sight.
Well, that explains exactly what Jamie was doing so when Jamie made her final bob, My Vickie threw a buoy out to mark the spot as the boat slowly passed over the area.
The boat driver asked her what was going on and she told him that Jamie had just pin-pointed the spot where the scent from the body of the missing man was coming to the surface.
He looked at her in surprise and told her, that is impossible; we have already checked this area.
My Vickie asked him to go over the area one more time just to see if Jamie did it again and so he agreed, only this time when they went over the area, even the boat driver could see something different in Jamie’s actions so he stopped right by the buoy and started pushing his paddle down into the water.
(Sorry about this next part, it may be too vivid for young readers) After pushing the boat paddle down into the water two or three times, the driver hit what he thought was a rock or boulder under water.
By this time Jamie was hanging over the boat and My Vickie was holding on to her for dear life. She wanted in the water. She was gonna go down and get the guy herself if everyone else wouldn’t get on the ball and trust her like My Vickie did.
When the boat driver backed the boat up a few feet to the area where he hit “The Rock” he noticed something floating near the surface so he reached down and grabbed it.
Yep, you guessed it…..It wasn’t a rock….. it was our missing man.
Jamie and My Vickie had been there 35 minutes. That is how good Jamie was in her day and that is how good I hope to be one day too.
Her eyes are blind now and her body doesn't go as spritely as it used to. Her hearing is gone too, but she knows.....she knows when we are preparing to go and do what she lived for, what she loved to do, what she did better than any dog My Vickie has ever known (OK, that might be a bit prejudiced but that is how My Vickie felt about working with Jamie).
I know she loves me and I know she is proud of me, so if she wants to get melancholy over sweet Jamie now and again, I’ll let her. There is plenty of time for me……but now it is only fair that she still gives Jamie, my mentor and big sis, all that she can…..
Cause Jamie is One of a Kind…….